Views & Reviews Between the Lines

The herd instinct

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1621
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Astonishing though it may seem, the ideas of Freud were largely introduced into Britain by a head and neck surgeon, Wilfred Trotter. A man of famed erudition, wit, and clinical skill, he attended the first international congress of psychoanalysis in Salzburg a century ago, in 1908, two years after his appointment to the surgical staff of University College Hospital, London.

    Trotter was on the council of the Royal Society of Medicine, which granted Freud honorary fellowship on his arrival as a refugee in Britain in 1938. Freud consulted Trotter about his cancer of the jaw; coincidentally, the two men were to die in the same month of 1939.

    Trotter’s most famous book, reprinted many times, …

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